Friday, 13 February 2015

Still Alice Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth D...

Hans Zimmer - No Time For Caution (Interstellar Soundtrack)(Docking)(Int...

Wonderland Soundtrack - Michael Nyman


I want to prove my point of plagiarism, this is my opinion but it is worth thinking about.
I am a little fed up of listening to composers who seem to think that composing is copying. Antonio Sanchez used his imagination for Birdman yet he got disqualified from being nominated for an Oscar, but Johansson got a nomination for  "borrowing" from someone else?  Here is my proof  that Alexandre Desplat's work was copied almost throughout Theory of Everything. I am not a member of The Academy, n'or shall I ever be. I am an enthusiastic individual with a sense of right and wrong and most of all I like originality. I also have lived in a family of musicians and know how irritating it is when this happens.
Johan Johansson's score for Theory of Everything is without a doubt too like the work of Desplat's, I stand strong on this. For example Johansson has used bits of the music from Extremely loud and Incredibly CloseBenjamin Button and Kings Speech, changing keys and one or two endings..but...
The director,  Mr Marsh although saying he wanted to work with Johan Johansson, obviously wanted Desplat to score his film and got someone to copy it. The score is ultimately plagiarism of Desplat's work. I admire Working Title and all the films they choose but really?.  If there is no litigation I will eat my hat.  I can go bar by bar, but will leave that to those people in the know. I cannot believe that I am the only person on the planet who hears this and comments about it?

Anyway I have made my point just listen and you decide.
Here is a sample of Johan Johansson's other work before composing for film. It is totally different.
Boy the composers today could be a whole lot more imaginative, and if it were a race, Johan Johansson would be in my opinion disqualified, not the work of Antonio Sanchez.
What is really sad is that the film is excellent in every way, moving, touching and beautifully acted by Eddie Redmayne who I had the pleasure of meeting at the BAFTA party with film director Peter Medak.  In my view Johansson does not deserve to be in the running for the Oscar, and clearly is new to the game. It is not his lack of ability more his lack of tact.

With the Oscars just round the corner, I felt it only correct to re watch all the films out there this year.
My favourites have not changed, in fact it is with clear thought and accuracy that I give my opinion.
Without a doubt Eddie Redmayne wins although Michael Keaton deserve much accolade as a old star in Birdman.

I loved Birdman's music by Antonio Sanchez which was not nominated but disqualified.
Talking of music, the music this year was so good but many who could have been in this category were not nominated.  Despite being a huge fan of Working Title and all that they do, I feel that the very talented Johan Johansson, in this instance is a)too new to win and b)more importantly has not been imaginative on the contrary has plagiarised  the much talented Alexandre Desplat's work. Last night I say up all night checking. I had jet lag and thought I would work on my musical knowledge.
I appreciate the handwork that goes into these things, but imagination is everything, and the work is just too similar.  I prefer the original pieces from Kings Speech, Benjamin Button and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Although the music is excellently produced, it is not original, therefore the Oscar should go to Mr Desplat whose work is excellent and who has so far written music for over 100 films and despite the confidence of Mr Johansson he has not. I simply prefer his original work.
I am also a huge fan of Hans Zimmer who has been nominated for his score in Instersteller.

Monday, 9 February 2015



I was thrilled with the result from last night. The handwork of Mr Desplat paid off for the compositions of Hotel Budapest..
Of course I have a crush on the drumming from Sanchez in Birdman. Oh well another year.
I think the music for films should become highly individual. Who wants a lot of music sounding the same?. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015


This is my first blog entirely about music. Music is my passion.
Tonight is the BAFTA's, one of my favourite UK events, and I am lucky to be invited each year.

I am often asked what pieces of music I love most and the following are the keys to keep my sanity holding the reigns to my universe' It is the unspoken word, the note that moves me or does not. I have loved music all my life,  it invaded my life at the early age of about five when I had to stand up and sing at school endlessly in choirs and solo. Singing Sister Angelica, Puccini at school at about twelve started my path to further exploration. Playing the piano especially the work of Bach's  two part inventions,  starting with  C, played here by Gould. This touched my soul despite my school girl ability, it has been with me throughout my life.  The earliest pop music I listened to that I can remember was that of the Beetles, but I loved Handel, I loved Purcell and I loved Jazz, Miles Davies. When most people were singing  the lyrics of the latest bands I would quickly lap up the tunes by Purcell. I loved singing "When I am laid"from Dido Aeneas. actually I equate music with sex.  Later, I loved The Velvet Underground the craziness of Andy Warhol, the dark perversions of this man who was neither well dressed or outspoken grabbed my attention. He was so out of fashion that he was in. I loved him and the androgyny of Patti Smith too.  Then there was Lou Reed who for me was a magician.
I was obsessed by film composer Maurice Jarre who wrote the music for Dr Zhivago and The Damned and Bernie Hermann. These were my two favourite music writers. The piece that Bernie wrote from my Grandfather, Sidney Gilliat's film Endless Night filled me with foreboding. I loved the music of Frances Lai for Bilitis, the naive sexuality of young girls explored by his brilliant writing.
There are so many scores I have enjoyed, Amelie  by Yann Tiersen, The English Patient by Gabriel Jared; St Trinian's by Malcolm Arnold; The Mission,  Romeo and Juliet score by Nino Rota original. So many that I have listened to non stop. Without composers and their compositions I would have not lived life, what turns me on is music, unlike the spoken word, it rarely hurts, it is deeper than that.
My mother and my son both love Opera and of course I do too, but I truly love the music of film more. Borrowed often from great old composers, Beethoven's 9th,  in Clockwork Orange created havoc in a film that was both banned and slated.

Through music I have discovered my Neverland, Michael Nyman's score for the soul searching film by Jane Campion The Piano to Alexandre Desplat's music for Lust Caution, exploring sexual betrayal. I am a true fan of these open minded geniuses that write with passion. There are so many more to mention but there we are, a blog is a blog. Replying the question I was asked this morning, "If music be the food of love, play on....." Duke Orsino from Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.

Tonight at the BAFTA's  it is the music scores that will hold my attention, they make a film.
What should have won tonight probably won't and some have not been nominated.
Birdman's score by Antonio Sanchez.  It was the most imaginative.
The most complete, brilliant and prolific scores today are by Alexandre Desplat, so tonight he may have a chance. Of course there is Hans Zimmer too..
Who will win is anybody's guess? Johan Johansson score for Theory of Everything is without a doubt, in my opinion, beautiful, but I prefer Desplat's original. At my music school they would tell him off.  I hear phrases from Benjamin Button, Kings Speech and so on. The director obviously wanted  Desplat to score and got someone to copy it. Easy to do. I did the same with my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly.
Here is the complete list of BAFTA nominees from The Telegraph.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

THE VORTEX by Noel Coward

Last November one of my favourite plays The Vortex by Noel Coward, opened and I was happy to be a part of the loving group headed by Gene Franklin Smith. The energetic and creative soundboard behind this brilliant script. He is the director, and I  have a small part in producing it. Plays like this don't get put on by just one person but lots. So thank you to all who helped. The production last night was truly supported with excellent actors in our midst.

The Lovies in this town are clique and elitist, a little intimidating, however this brilliant and magnetic cast disprove this by giving passionate and heart rending performances on the real arena, the stage. It is a marathon, performing on stage, but the actors take it in their stride, and like the best in the world,  they are  suited living with a script, and with other people who understand them.  Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Working class. Do put Simon Cowell into a rage. Do tell your son he has a career in singing. Everybody aspires to appear to being poor working class, by the way there can be rich working class, but nobody reveals that, it is not fashionable anymore. There are so many layers in the play, the class system, the sexual freedom, the drugs and the acknowledgement that times are changing.
The only ambition nowadays is not to be ambitious, and be beige. Noel was anything but this, and he shows the rawness and pain with lucidity. Humour too.
You feel the family, this was the second round of this award winning play as it first started out in Malibu, now Melrose and hopefully The West End, London. Yes they have a right to be ambitious. Craig Bobby Young is outstanding and passionate and with the cast behind him, there is little that can be criticised. Noel Coward I am sure would have approved. Here are the wireimage photographs from the first nights performance.

KINKY BOOTS we all love a good pair of long red boots.

Last week I saw the very popular Kinky Boots starring the excellent Andy Kelso and Tony winner, Billy Porter, supported by the charming Jeanna de Waal.  This time it was set in Northampton, and was about the closing of a shoe factory. Again energy was exuberant and of course we all love a man in a dress or two, or do we? In any case I wanted some of the casts costumes. It was all glitter and glamour with a many less good numbers than Last Ship but no gloom at all. The shoe business may be precarious but everybody likes a pair of good high heels it seems. Afterwards I was lucky enough to meet the cast who were totally charming and offering to re dress me.  I do like a good pair of boots.


 In New York I was lucky enough to listen to Sting's musical "Last Ship" I say lucky as originally I heard and watched it some years ago in Paris, and I hated it. I have changed my mind, despite the fact it was about Ship Yards in Northern England, I was excited by the energy, the music, and the appearance of Sting himself. I was glad that he worked on this project so long, that he did not give up. The Last Ship had changed so much. Broadway failure may be that a play or musical is shut after 6 months, but the night I went there, there was not one free chair in the house. A failure. it certainly was not. Too much concern is about money and critics and not enough about people trying out new ideas. Perhaps England would have been more appreciative?

The gun the cake and the butterfly poster on Sunset Boulevard